Mon 14th June: Not as expected

The Morgan Stanley team, all clean and dry at the start of the day

Mark was up at Tai Po early today to meet a group of volunteers from Morgan Stanley who had signed up for a full day’s hot and hard work with HKDR.  Even the intermittent rain and off-the-scale humidity didn’t distract the team from their allocated tasks, which included clearing undergrowth and walking the dogs.  So many thanks to everyone who took part, and hopefully at least some will be signing up as “real” volunteers now.

Getting down to business

Being a Monday I was at my usual station by early afternoon, that is, Pokfulam AFCD Animal Management Centre.  I was originally expecting to be meeting someone who had offered to take Siu Wong, the Quarry Bay mongrel I mentioned in a previous post, but that was postponed until tomorrow (so I have to go back again).  Anyway, I had been offered a lift to Tai Po so it was a good opportunity to get some dogs out.

First one was a beautiful German Shepherd, as friendly as he was handsome. Getting him out was a piece of cake as he was more than ready to leave his kennel, and so was a fluffy, black four month-old puppy that had been surrendered.  I nearly missed the tiny poodle that was hiding in a corner, another surrender – for biting.

Tiny Apricot

As small as a dog is I’m always careful when first handling them.  In fact, it’s the little ones that are most likely to bite, and having been told that this tiny thing had been given up for biting I was doubly careful.  As it turned out, she was as sweet as anything, and once I’d established that she wasn’t at all aggressive she sat on my lap for the drive to Tai Po.  Actually she sat on my bag that was on my lap, and we had only been going for a short time when I saw that her position looked strangely familiar.  Was she really peeing in my bag?  Yes she was, and it was a long one too.  Having relieved herself, she settled down and was as good as gold, while in the back seat Michelle and another volunteer were struggling with an enthusiastic and very large German Shepherd who was trying to take over the entire seat.  

Arriving at Tai Po I discovered that the poodle pee had run down onto my lap and it looked – and felt – just like I had wet myself.  Nice, very nice.

Tiny the Yorkie is Apricot's new same-sized friend

With the Morgan Stanley team buzzing around doing their thing and the rain threatening to start up again, it was time to face the usual question of where to put the new dogs.  The poodle was relatively simple because she could join fellow shrimp-sized Tiny the Yorkie in the office.  Sebastian the puppy was sent off to the puppy group enclosure, so it was only Julius the German Shepherd that was left.  We didn’t know how he was with other dogs, and it’s too risky to simply take a chance with such a big boy. 

As we were just about to find out, it was more than just his size that was the problem as he suddenly fell to the ground in what we assumed was an epileptic fit.  I was in the office with the poodle at the time, but Mark told me that it lasted a good few minutes, and Julius was still unable to get up when I went out to see how things were.  Following that inital seizure poor Julius continued to have minor fits over the next couple of hours, presumably as a result of stress.  Of course he will have to be thoroughly tested but the reason for him being abandoned now seems to be fairly clear.

The operation will decide if Gypsy will ever be able to walk

Getting home in the evening I received a text message from SPCA vet Dr Tony Matthews telling me that he unexpectedly had time to operate on Gypsy’s legs the next day.  It’s going to be impossible to know what the result will be as having two legs with the same problem is unusal, and with both being done at the same time it’s not going to be easy for Gypsy.  But right now she can’t use her front legs anyway, so it’s a risk we have to take.  Poor girl, she’s going to need a lot of support and a lot of luck.

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3 Responses to “Mon 14th June: Not as expected”

  1. Jesslyn Says:

    So good to see different groups of people coming to HKDR to meet the lovely dogs.
    Is it one of the genetic problems that German Sheperds have that they will have epileptic fit?
    Good luck Gypsy, fingers and paws x

    • Sally Says:

      Yes, apparently epilepsy is one of the very many genetic problems that German Shepherds can suffer from. I copied this from a website on the breed: (Julius is 5 years old)
      Epilepsy (recessive) – recurrent seizures onset between 1-3 years old. This may possibly be transmitted genetically. The disorder may not express itself until the German Shepherd Dog is about three to four years old. There is no way of testing for the disease until the German Shepherd actually has a seizure.

  2. norma Says:

    So sad for Julius, but thankfully it is fully controllable with drugs so he can lead a perfectly normal life as long as he is given his medication.

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